Even in today’s fast-paced environment where there are great industry websites for networking, like LinkedIn, there is still a high value placed on personal professional references! Be it a new position with another organization or advancement within your current one you need to always ensure that you can present great professional references! The medical equipment service industry is, as we all know, a very niche industry where everyone knows everyone else. So, those professional references can carry lots of weight. Personally, I will not present a candidate to a client until they have been able to furnish those. It always makes me and employers wonder if someone is not able to do so, and how viable they are as a candidate. The only exception is if they have only been with one organization and need to keep his or her interest in a new position confidential. In that case, I suggest coming up with other professional references – preferably from the industry – who may know them but are not with that same organization.
Jenifer Brown, CEO and Founder of Health Tech Talent Management
Should you come to an interview with letters of reference or a list of references? The answer is both. Letters of reference should be provided in addition to, not in lieu of, a reference list.
Professional letters of reference from previous employers or supervisors can only enhance your marketability if they are done properly and presented well. Always ask prior to leaving a position if your manager/supervisor will write a letter of reference. Letters should always be specifically written for you and presented on a company’s letterhead. NOTE: An employer can usually tell immediately when a candidate has written his or her own letter and requested that a supervisor or employer just sign it. Lastly, keep the original letters and copies in a business portfolio to present at the in-person interview stage.
First of all, when providing a reference list in person, it should be on the same color/quality paper as your resume and cover letter to maintain a professional look. The reference sheet should also have the same heading and fonts as your resume with your name, address, telephone numbers and email address.
You should always provide at least three professional references. Prospective employers feel that they have checked you out satisfactorily if you have at least three. Those should be previous employers or managers/supervisors that you actually worked under, preferably in a related medical industry position. However, clients can also be a great reference especially if you worked for an ISO or third-party organization.
Make sure you ask your references for permission to use them before you hand out your reference list and, most importantly, make sure that they will be a reference. I have seen it happen several times where a candidate had down a reference who did not give stellar feedback on that candidate.
If you have a military background, try to use a military reference. It will carry a lot of weight, especially if you are new in the field!
Many companies have formal reference forms, so complete addresses are important.
The proper layout of each of the three professional references should be:
Name: John Doe
Title: Technical Director
Company/Hospital Name: General Hospital
Full Address: 1000 Main Street
City, State, Zip:
Work and/or Cell Phone Numbers: 000.333.4444
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